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Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (D) will announce Wednesday morning that he is filing to run for the open Senate seat in Texas, according to a Democratic source close to the campaign.
Sanchez, a three-star general who oversaw military operations in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, will declare his intentions on his Facebook page. National Democrats have touted Sanchez as a top candidate, frequently citing his military record and Hispanic background as draws for Texas voters.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) has identified the Texas race as one of six GOP-held Senate seats that her party is targeting in 2012. The others are in Nevada, Maine, Indiana, Arizona and Massachusetts.
A campaign for any Democratic candidate in Texas is an uphill climb. It’s a particularly expensive state for campaigns, and no Democrat has won a top statewide election in Texas since 1990.
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh was confident Republicans would retain the seat, which is currently held by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is not seeking re-election.
“Our confidence in this race comes down to the simple fact that Texans do not support Barack Obama’s liberal, tax-and-spend agenda, and whoever the Democratic nominee ultimately is, that individual will be campaigning side by side at the top of the ticket next year with President Obama,” Walsh said. “So we’ll leave it to national Democrats to crow about their latest hand-picked candidate because as any observer of Texas politics knows, we’ve heard it all before and we have no doubt this seat will remain in Republican hands.”
Several Republicans have filed to run for the seat. Other potential GOP candidates, such as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, are seriously considering jumping into the race.